What kind of methodological and theoretical approaches can be productive in revisiting Cavafy’s work as world literature? How does Cavafy’s appeal as a world literary figure relate to (and challenges) national appropriations of the poet in Greece? How does Cavafy’s poetry speak to present cultural, social, and political concerns and what kind of responses does it offer to contemporary local and global realities?
These are just some of the questions that will be posed during the first International Cavafy Summer School that will be devoted exclusively to one of the most renowned and widely read Greek poets, C.P. Cavafy. Organized by the Cavafy Archive and the Onassis Foundation, this major international annual scholarly event will take place on 10-17 July 2017, based at the historical building of the Onassis Foundation in the centre of Athens.
Themed Cavafy in the World, the first Summer School will examine Cavafy’s work in wider, indeed global, literary and cultural contexts, revisit Cavafy as a major figure of world literature and reassess the impact of his life and work on Greek and international culture. Among the topics that will be revisited are: Cavafy’s relationship to movements such as symbolism, aestheticism, decadence and modernism; Cavafy's dialogue with other literary figures; Cavafy as a cultural myth; the place of biography in Cavafy studies; paratextual uses of Cavafy's poems; the construction of a Cavafy “canon” through editing and translating; Cavafy’s importance for modern queer writing and culture.
The International Cavafy Summer School 2017 will be convened by Dimitris Papanikolaou (Oxford) and Stathis Gourgouris (Columbia), and tutors will include Natalie Melas (Cornell), Maria Boletsi (Leiden), Karen Emmerich (Princeton), Michael Warner (Yale), Gregory Jusdanis (Ohio State) and Patrick McGuinness (Oxford). The deadline for applications is Monday 20 March 2017 while the working language will be English.
It should be noted that the Onassis Foundation acquired the Cavafy Archive in the end of 2012. The Archive consists of approximately 4.000 manuscripts, photographs and personal items of the poet, while its collections comprise original poems, translations, commentary on poems, the poet’s correspondence, and his notes. The aim is to protect this invaluable material and to promote C.P. Cavafy’s work and the international character of his poetry and personality. Working towards this end, numerous projects and events take place in Greece and abroad, for the wider public and particularly the younger generations, creatively utilizing the potential of new technologies.
Created by the Center for Neo-Hellenic Studies and owned by the Onassis Foundation, the Cavafy Archive website contains all of Cavafy’s major works in the translation of Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard (edited by G.P. Savidis), plus select alternative translations. It also contains a wealth of unpublished material from the poet’s Archive, plus a Cavafy Companion section and up-to-date information on Cavafy’s seminal presence in today’s world, as seen through the web.